Top Lovecraft Board games to try
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”
Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Are you and your tabletop cohorts done with the traditional? Is it that you have had your fill of buying Park Plaza and conquering Australia? Could it be that maybe the even more advanced and complex games have lost their flavor? It could be time to gaze into the abyss to check out what is staring back… In this case, it’s a formless mass of tentacles that, even without noticing your presence, drive you insane. Well, hopefully not; Lovecraft has jumped to the foreground of pop-culture, and lucky enough, tabletop games have been privy to the Mythos for quite some time. So, if you and your tabletop crew are ready to do battle with multi-dimensional space gods, here are five games that might tickle your horror fancy.
Many Lovecraft games start with the premise where the players ban together to stop some eldritch monstrosity from storming reality. While these scenarios are the most common and fun, Cthulhu wars take a different approach. Here you take control of one of four factions; each faction is represented by a Great Old One: The Great Cthulhu, Hastur The Yellow Sign, Shub-Niggurath the Black Goat, and Azathoth the Crawling Chaos; each faction is facing against one another for the complete control of earth or what is left of it after the Great Old Ones have risen. This game is titanic; the box itself is significant, clocking over 10 pounds, and some miniatures are up to 7" tall! It does come with a hearty price tag; it is well worth it. The game is easy enough to learn, and it is loads of eldritch fun.
2-4 Players, Ages 14+ 90-120 minutes price 125
Mansions of Madness: Second Edition
This edition of Mansions of Madness sees you take on the role of a character thrust knee-deep into danger as they must find a way to survive the adventure set against the Great Old One Cthulhu. Here players ban together to confront the rising evil and try to turn the tide. This edition sees the app take on the Overlord role (think storyteller), and now all players are on the same side. This adventure from Fantasy Flight games has seen multiple expansions, and all make a great addition to a weekday session.
1-5 Players ages 12+ 120- 240 minutes price 80
Take to the streets to defend reality from the insane intentions of the eldritch horrors that scratch at the walls of our reality. Take on the role of an adventurer that has found themselves somehow involved in fighting against the dark. The game commences once the players have set the board and picked the characters. An elder god is either selected or randomly picked. Thus, the epic battle of collecting clues and shutting gates while battling monstrosities ensues. The game is fast and fun, yet be aware that it is not easy to take on Lovecraft Verse’s dizziness. So please pick up your favorite prohibition-era Tommy gun and take it to the streets of Arkham.
1 - 6 Players
60 - 120 min
Have your players pick a character that has taken up a torch to light the darkness being sprung worldwide by the eldritch abominations that keep springing up around the world. Eldritch Horror takes the place of the previously published Arkham Horror and takes the fight outside the realm of the town of Arkham and has the players explore the world, stopping the evil forces from awakening their elder gods. The gameplay is fun; each character option comes with a back story and flavor texts of why they are involved in the events. The gameplay is fun and easy to learn. The game is challenging, and some might find the game daunting at specific points, but a welcome challenge. This game can entertain up to 8 people at once, so it might run a little long, especially in the first few games; beyond that, the game is well worth it.
Ages 14+ 120
Minutes price 45
Tackling the evil forces of mystics, Nazis, abysmal horrors, and basically, all of the Lovecraft Mythos takes teamwork, imagination, and one or two days of fun play. These games can run long sometimes, but they can reflect the literary figures’ experiences subject to Lovecraft’s imagination. These five are a must-play for any Lovecraft fan. So, get together, have a few laughs, and try not to say" Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn" too much, someone might answer.